Mike, leader at Pendo Amani Mike, leader at Pendo Amani

Pendo Amani’s Outstanding Football Program!

Since football is one of the biggest, and fastest growing programs that we support in Juja today, we wanted to interview Mike - leader of Pendo Amani - to learn a little bit more.

Football  engages many people, young and old, boys as well as girls. It is simple and fun - and it allows for everyone to join. You don’t need a lot of equipment, and it is relatively cheap. And, more importantly, it has a very positive impact on the whole community! Ultimately, the skills that youth acquire when playing football, equip them to change and improve their own lives, as well as the society around them.

The main target group for Pemdo Amani’s football program in Juja is poor and vulnerable children. But they also engage quite a large number of refugees from south Sudan who live in Juja. ”Through football they feel loved, supported and included in the community”, Mike says and he adds that many of them also volunteer as leaders and coaches.

The reason for starting the whole program actually came from discussions with young people, schools and community leaders already in 2012. ”Football was selected as most beneficial in mobilizing, training and equipping youth. We organized weekend football clinics that enabled us to identify and equip young leaders/coaches. We now have all year round football league for both girls and boys in boys under 10, under 12, under 14 and girls under 12 reaching 36 football teams”.

36 Football teams? It’s amazing. But actually, Pendo Amani are not satisfied yet. They see that there are needs and opportunities for further growth and they have therefore set the goal to set up 50 teams. But in order to afford this, they need more support!

”There is potential to reach more youth in Juja. However, we are limited in funds and equipment. For us to reach youth in other areas and schools we need 1) footballs 2) football bibs / jerseys 3) portable goal posts and 4) to cover transport costs for our local volunteers who are committed in implementing our sport programme”, Mike says. He also goes on to describe that they would also love to train the leaders on first aid in sports, and that they are therefore looking for funding to cover those expenses.  

But practicing football is not actually just about ’practicing football’. Pendo Amani’s program brings the whole community together and many other skills are developed in the process. It’s very encouraging to hear Mike talking about all the positive development that these trainings bring about:  ”Through the various trainings that we have offered, young people have acquired life skills that help them confront their social challenges and improve their long term prospects. They have gained leaderships skills, communication skills - and practiced conflict resolution in a none violent way”, Mike concludes.

”We have experienced the benefits of sports beyond physical wellbeing. We have seen young people opening up and sharing their feelings, some have increased knowledge and skills in sports organizing, and have developed healthy attitudes and behavior. We believe that, with leadership skills;  these young people will influence and change their community!”

 

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Beatrice - one of many important Pendo Amani leaders!

Many youths in Juja are faced with difficult situations and on a daily basis, they have to negotiate and make difficult choices regarding their life. The children and youth seek refuge in our learning center and in the programs offered to them; computer and media skills, music and dance, football and learning space where they have access to curriculum books, story books, novels and mentorship. On weekends and during school holidays, the center overflows with children and youth who want to participate in the activities.

Beatrice Kalekye is young leader and a volunteer in PendoAmani. She spearheads the learning center focused on giving the children and youth a safe learning environment and she is also a violin trainer and looks for ways to enhance their skills. She has developed and now she is the lead facilitator for the Zinduka girl’s forum, this is a monthly meeting spot for the girls where they share and learn from each other. This new confidence and leadership within PendoAmani comes from her time and engagement in the organization.  Beatrice is determined to support young people with tools and information that would enable them create a positive change in their own lives and in Juja.

She attended New Generation Leadership Programme in Meru. One of the steps in the training was self-awareness and setting personal goals to achieve after the training. Ten months after the training in Meru, we asked Beatrice to take stock of her work with young people in Juja.

“The way the trainers at NGL motivated me was amazing, I was completely focused on sharing my experience with everyone at PendoAmani, the experience triggered in me the drive to learn more. My main goal was to increase the number of children playing violin, which we have successfully achieved.” “I want to help young people to grow with a sense of purpose, amidst the social challenges in the neighborhood." she adds.

Beatrice time at NGL helped her gain a new perspective on both her role in at PendoAmani and her role as a young leader in the community. “So now I want to teach everybody life skills and give them the tools and information to influence our neighborhood, I have confidence that I can make a change."

Ingemar Eriscsson Learning Center is Growing

Ingemar Ericsson's Learning center has become an increasingly more important place for the youth in Juja. This is a place where young people can come after school to learn and get support. We provide a library with fiction as well as textbooks, and rooms where the children can study. However, many of our other programs are also located in these buildings, where we teach music, life skills, computer, media etc. Since our last house got too small to meet the big needs of the community, we are now very happy that we've been able to move into bigger facilities! This has been made possible by generous contributions from several companies in Åtvidaberg and we are deeply grateful for your support!
 

Åtvidabergs Sparbank
Begravningsbyrån Wårhem
Sandbergs revisionsbyrå
Toolbox AB
Mannes Bygg AB
Åtvidabergshus
Industrigallerian
Karl Danielsson Egendomar
Lars Blomkvist
Marianne Jansson
Polder Solution AB
Soundforce
Rotakorn
Åtvidabergs Bok o Tryck
HJ-Bygg AB
Hannäs smide och montage AB
Look Syncenter
Yuniqe

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Exchange with El Sistema Sweden

We are very happy for the exchange between El Sistema Sweden and Pendo Amani in Juja, that has been funded by the Swedish Institute. This has been a very important opportunity for our Pendo Amani leaders to receive very good capacity building. In 2017, representatives from El Sistema in Sweden visited Juja to give workshops and give trainings, and in February 2018, leaders from Pendo Amani visited Sweden to continue building on these skills. Meanwhile, there is also an ongoing digital exchange where trainings are conducted through skype. We are very happy to see our leaders growing and developing! Here is a picture with the visitors in Sweden in February 2018.

School Exchange

In february 2017, a number of teachers and students from Åtvidaberg's Upper Secondary Scool travelled to Juja, to plan for a longterm partnership. A few students from De Geer Upper Secondary School in Norrköping, who has also had a partnership with Juja for several years, also travelled with Åtvidaberg students on this trip.  In May 2017, people from Juja came to visit Åtvidaberg. We are hoping that this exchange will grow and develop in coming years, as the school continues to apply for funding and engaging their students in this partnership.

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Pictures from our visit in Kenya in 2016

Our trip to Kenya in 2016 was a wonderful experience! The enormous engagement we met among the leaders, as well as the children, deeply impressed us and we were able to share our knowledge and different cultures through music and dance. It was an amazing exchange that gave us memories and experiences for life!  

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